Olympus Takes Legal Action Against 19 Of Its Former and Current Employees

Olympus Corp. has taken legal action against 19 people including its president in regards to their roles in a $1.7 billion loss cover-up.

The company is demanding in lawsuits that former president Tsuyoshi Kikukaware pay $47 million. Olympus Corp. alleges that he had a key role in the scandal, which has rocked the world’s confidence in the Japanese corporate governance. The lawsuits also demand that 3.01 billion in yen comes from Hideo Yamada, its former auditor, and 2.81 billion yen from Hisashi Mori, the company’s former vice president.

The company set up a special investigation panel, which named the three men earlier as key figures among a small number of top executives that hid nearly 134.9 billion yen in losses due to bad investments during the 1990s.

Whistleblower Michael Woodford, a British former chief executive, was not being sued by the company. He aired his concerns to the public after he was fired. Woodford was originally taking legal action to get his job back. However, he is no longer interested in doing so.

Current Olympus Corp. President Shuichi Takayama will resign his position at the next extraordinary shareholders’ meeting, which is to be held in March or April. Takayama is being asked to pay back 500 million yen.

The total amount the company is seeking in damages is 16.54 billion yen from all persons named by three-company appointed lawyers.

According to the company, the present board members were judged by the panel to have some responsibility and are being sued in ways that won’t hinder with the company’s operations, once the shareholders’ meeting is over.

Olympus Corp. is the creator of medical equipment and cameras. Since the scandal broke in October, Olympus lost nearly 50 percent of the company’s market value when it fired Woodford.

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Posted by on Jan 12 2012. Filed under Business, New. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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